Capers are an ingredient that I always, always have either in my larder or in the refrigerator. I just adore their tangy flavour and the flavour boost they give to dishes that they are used in! I had never ever heard of them prior to moving over here to the UK.
Mind you I hadn't discovered pizza until my late teens, nor Chinese food! I had a really limited experience with food when I was growing up. It was all simple but good. Nothing fancy smancy, and I guess I carried that somewhat into my adulthood . . . with a few new discoveries along the way, of course!
Capers are the small flower buds of a Mediterranean shrub called Capparis . They are picked by hand which means they can be fairly pricey but they're a versatile store cupboard ingredient, and are good for adding a distinctive sour/salty flavour to many savoury dishes. Also a little goes a long, long way flavour wise, so they are not a bad investment as they will keep virtually forever in the refrigerator so long as you keep the berries submerged in the pickling liquid if you have bought the pickled ones and salt is a natural preservative so the salted ones keep virtually forever as well.
Really small, peppercorn-sized capers, called 'nonpareille' are available, but the slightly larger ones are more common. Capers are preserved a number of ways – either in salt, wine vinegar, brine or olive oil. The brine-pickled type has the sharpest flavour and is slightly less versatile than the salted type. For a more sophisticated caper flavour, you can try the elegantly stemmed caper berries, which are a little milder and sweeter than the standard type. I have a bottle of those in the larder, which I have yet to use.
I have become so fond of them that I could eat them all on their own, like a pickle . . . it is handy to note that if you can't get capers, sour gerkins make a great substitute.
They go really well with mild flavoured proteins such as chicken and mild flavoured fish . . . and they are great in tartar sauce! They actually help to bring out the best in these things . . . and when you mix them with lemon, it's a combination that just goes WOWSA in your mouth!
This dish here today is one of my absolute all time favourite chicken dishes. I could seriously eat it every night of the week . . . well, maybe not every night, but fairly often anyways!
The chicken is so tender in this . . . because it cooks so quickly and that sauce is just to die for. Buttery and lemony . . . with just the right amount of salty piquancy! I just adore this and I think you will too. It's quick and easy and just fancy enough to be considered special . . . special enough for dinner party fare, I do declare!!
This is so impressive, and yet it is quick and simple to make. The sauce is rich and delicious. Have all of your ingredients ready before you start and things will run as smoothly as clockwork.
To serve divide drained pasta between plates. Top with chicken pieces and spoon sauce over all. Serve immediately.
Debunking the myths of English Cookery, one recipe at a time.
The English Kitchen